A far right activist who claims to be one of the organisers of a Ukip rally and who attended a top level meeting with the party’s leader Gerard Batten has a conviction for attempted kidnap, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
Daniel Thomas, 29, has been instrumental in promoting “The Brexit Betrayal” march, a London demonstration in which the newly appointed Ukip advisor ‘Tommy Robinson’ is expected to speak on December 9.
In a picture tweeted by Gerard Batten on Friday, Thomas is photographed sat next to Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League, alongside the party leader.
Mr Batten tweeted: “Spent the afternoon planning Brexit Betrayal – Brexit Must Mean Exit March & Rally,” adding that the event was a “leaver family day out”.
It can be revealed Thomas, a father of four, was jailed two years ago for the attempted armed kidnapping of a man in Hampshire.
Last night, Ukip insisted Thomas was there purely as a Robinson’s bodyguard, despite the photograph showing him sat at the conference table with note paper and having a proven record in organising political rallies.
The revelations could prove to be politically damaging because Ukip’s National Executive Committee is under pressure from former leader Nigel Farage to hold a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten’s leadership when it meets in London.
Last week, Mr Farage wrote a letter to the 15-strong NEC urging it to pass a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten’s leadership over the way he had courted Robinson and pursued an anti-Muslim agenda.
Mr Farage told the Sunday Telegraph: “I am absolutely disgusted with the whole thing. I have been warning repeatedly for the past few months that this was a disastrous course of action. And we are now pretty much at the end game.”
Mr Batten insisted he “was not aware” of Thomas’s conviction and asked to be sent details.
In July 2016, a judge condemned Thomas and two other men for an “extraordinarily frightening incident” matched only by its “stupidity” in which they armed themselves with knives and targeted Graham Page at his home on Hayling Island.
Mr Page told Portsmouth Crown Court that Thomas, along with Darren Anscombe, 38, and Leo Smith, 34, burst into the house shouting “you’re coming with us”.
He claimed they wrongly accused him of stealing £10,000 of drugs from them and tried to drag him away.
Mr Page resisted and the men fled, shouting “we’ll be back”. Upon arrest Thomas, from Hampshire, admitted the offence. He was jailed for two years. The two others received 30 month sentences.
After his release from prison last year, Thomas adopted the pseudonym Danny Tommo and organised marches throughout the country calling for Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, to be freed from a sentence for contempt of court.
Thomas became an expert at dealing with local authorities and police to set up protests, where he also gave speeches. He is now among the inner circle of Robinson’s associates and this year organised two rallies outside the Old Bailey when Robinson was appearing there.
Last week, he posted a video to his thousands of followers on Facebook promoting the Ukip march as “the beginning of the political revolution”, adding “we are going to be working together”.
He regularly visits London’s Speakers’ Corner where he films himself arguing with Muslims, and was once handcuffed and detained by police before being released.
On Saturday night, Thomas said the attempted kidnapping was committed because he “got involved with some stupid people” after experiencing financial difficulty.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” he said. “I came out of prison and I have turned my life around.
“I now go to church every Sunday and pray for forgiveness. Hopefully I will better myself over the years and this incident will be forgotten.”
He was privately educated and has worked as a bricklayer, sales and marketing manager and run a web design company. However, he has now stopped working to “dedicate everything to the cause.”
Thomas, a former tank driver with the King’s Royal Hussars, from which he was medically discharged before seeing active service, added: “What we are trying to do with Ukip is the future.”
A Ukip spokesman said Thomas was at Friday’s meeting “in the capacity of Mr Robinson’s personal security”.
He added: “Mr Thomas is not part of Ukip’s planning team. He has served his sentence and has returned to the world of work just as Lords Archer and Ahmed have returned to the House of Lords after serving serious criminal convictions.”